Leadership & Staff

Our leadership and staff are dedicated professionals from a range of backgrounds including education, child development, social work, and youth development.

Office of CEO & Vice Presidents

Bela Mote
Bela Moté

President & CEO

Sonja Crum Knight
Sonja Crum Knight

Chief Programs & Impact Officer
312.243.7300 x243

Juleigh Ruby
Laura Hool

Chief of Staff
312.243.7300 x162

Juleigh Ruby
Juleigh Ruby

Executive Assistant to President & CEO
312.243.7300 x222

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Ashley Nazarak

Vice President of Scaling & Dissemination
312.243.7300 x242

Peg Heslinga
Peg Heslinga

Chief Financial Officer
312.243.7300 x205


Bonita Stowell
Bonita Stowell

Senior Campaign Director
312.243.7300 x145

Erica Rangel
Erica Rangel

Senior Director of Development
312.243.7300 x201

Chris Cannova
Chris Cannova

Vice President of People and Culture
312.243.7300 x206

Leadership Circle

Alicia Castañeda Rodriguez

Senior Director of Family Engagement & Support
773.521.1600 x128

Azucena “Susy” Gonzalez

Senior Director of Community Based Programs
312.243.7300 x230

Brenda Berman

Senior Director of Program Marketing & Communication
312.243.7300 x217

David Walker

Senior Director of Mental Health
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Julissa Cruz

Senior Director of Community-Based Advocacy
312.243.7300 x118

Kenny Riley

Senior Director of Out-of-School-Time (OST) Programs
773.521.1600 x123

Meg Helder

Senior Director of Monitoring & Support
312.243.7300 x224

Michele Black

Senior Director of Programs and Impact Operations
312.243.7300 x212

Tineasha Ellis

Director of Accounting
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Stanley G. Robertson

312.243.7300 x203

Staff Education & Background

Our staff works collaboratively through an interdisciplinary approach to relation-based practice to best meet the needs of those we serve.

The Carole Robertson Center’s programs are delivered by a workforce representative of those served. This workforce, at all levels within the organization, includes community residents, former program parents, and alumni.

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Preschool Teachers

Hold Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in early childhood education or child development and Illinois Professional Educator Licenses with Bilingual or English as a Second Language endorsement.

Family Support Specialists

Hold Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees in Social Work or Human Services.

Infant & Toddler Teachers

Hold Bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education or child development and the Infant Toddler Credential.

Staff Across Our Organization

Teaching, Family Support, & Direct Service Staff

Languages Spoken


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Learn More About How Sustainable Education Creates Stronger Communities

We’re proud to be part of Little Village and Lawndale. Find out more about how you can be part of our programs.

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Since 1976, the Carole Robertson Center for Learning has been dedicated to educating, enriching, and empowering children and families through comprehensive child and family development programs.